Study suggests racial bias in calls by NBA referees
NBA won't punish Warriors' Jackson for second ejection
Van Gundy on Bobcats' coaching radar
Riley says Heat attitude must change
NEW YORK - An academic study of NBA officiating found that white referees called fouls at a greater rate against black players than against white players, The New York Times reported in Wednesday's editions.
The study by a University of Pennsylvania assistant professor and Cornell graduate student also found that black officials called fouls more frequently against white players than black, but noted that tendency was not as pronounced.
Justin Wolfers, an assistant professor of business and public policy at Penn's Wharton School, and Joseph Price, a Cornell graduate student in economics, said the difference in calls "is large enough that the probability of a team winning is noticeably affected by the racial composition of the refereeing crew."
The study, conducted over a 13-season span through 2004, found that the racial makeup of a three-man officiating crew affected calls by up to 4Â½ percent.
The NBA strongly criticized the study, which was based on information from publicly available box scores, which show only the referees' names and contain no information about which official made a call.
"The study that is cited in the New York Times article is wrong," president of league and basketball operations Joel Litvin told The Associated Press on Tuesday night. "The fact is there is no evidence of racial bias in foul calls made by NBA officials and that is based on a study conducted by our experts who looked at data that was far more robust and current than the data relied upon by Professor Wolfers."
Litvin said the NBA's study, using data from November 2004 to January 2007, included some 148,000 calls and included which official made each call.
Wolfers' key finding was in regard to foul calls, saying "black players receive around 0.12-0.20 more fouls per 48 minutes played (an increase of 2Â½-4Â½ percent) when the number of white referees officiating a game increases from zero to three."
DALLAS - Stephen Jackson's reputation might have been a factor in his two ejections this postseason. It won't get him suspended from Game 6 of the Golden State Warriors' first-round series against the Dallas Mavericks.
NBA spokesman Tim Frank said Wednesday that the league will take no action against Jackson for what happened in the closing moments of Game 5, when he was tossed with 8.9 seconds left in a 118-112 loss, or for his mounting ejections.
"I wasn't trying to show nobody up," he said Wednesday, adding that he was already consoling teammates and telling them to look ahead to the next game. "It didn't make no sense to me."
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Add Stan Van Gundy to the growing list of candidates for the Charlotte Bobcats' coaching job.
Van Gundy interviewed this week, his first coaching interview since resigning from the Miami Heat in December 2005.
He remains under contract with Miami through the end of next season, but Heat president Pat Riley allowed Van Gundy to interview when Bobcats general manager Bernie Bickerstaff asked.
"I went up there, and I spoke to them," Van Gundy told The Associated Press on Wednesday from his Miami home. "I went up and spoke to Bernie and (part-owner) Michael Jordan and (president) Fred Whitfield for three, 3Â½ hours on Monday. That's about it."
MIAMI - Pat Riley isn't sure if he'll coach again or what the makeup of the Miami Heat roster will be when training camp opens in five months.
He knows this, though: There's going to be a new attitude around the Heat next season.
One day after holding exit interviews with Heat players, Riley said Wednesday that the season was lost not because of injuries, but an overriding sense that players deemed the regular season to be irrelevant and insisted they could simply play their best basketball when the games counted most.
"We didn't do anything the right way this year," Riley said.